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Legal sports betting in Ohio awaits DeWine’s signature

Ohio is on the doorstep of joining a growing list of states that allow legalized sports betting.

All that’s needed is Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature on a comprehensive sports gaming compromise bill that passed the Ohio Senate and House on Wednesday, establishing the framework for online, brick-and-mortar and kiosk sports betting.

“This is much more than a sports gaming bill, it’s an economic development bill that addresses an issue already happening,” Sen. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, said. “This will make it legal and generate not only business development but revenue for the state.”

The bill creates three types of gaming licenses that last for five years and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023, once signed by DeWine, who had encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation allowing sports gambling.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission will oversee the program, and the Ohio Lottery Commission also will play a role.

The licenses include those for mobile apps, brick-and-mortar stores and kiosks at certain lottery retail agents, which includes businesses that hold a specific liquor permit.

“This was a hard fought, complex effort to make sure this opportunity was accessible across multiple platforms, and not exclusive to a single set of wealthy operators,” Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said.

The bill creates a nine-member Select Committee on Sports Gaming and Problem Gambling to investigate problem gambling and problem gambling funding. The bill also creates the Joint Committee on Sport Gaming to monitor the implementation of sports gaming.

“We had to pass this legislation to keep up with other states and to ensure that Ohio wasn’t left behind, and to ensure that sports betting is open, regulated and fair,” Rep. Adam Miller, D-Columbus, said. “Not only did we do this, we did so by providing unprecedented funding for schools, veterans and problem gambling.”

The state plans to issue at least 25 mobile betting licenses and 40 brick-and-mortar licenses for places such as casinos and pro sports venues. An unlimited number of licenses for kiosks at places such as bars, restaurants and other places with liquor sales will be available.

The state also plans a 10% tax.

“This is a win for taxpayers, not a gamble. This will be a secure, professional, and reliable process, overseen with the expertise of the Casino Control Commission,” said Sen. Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville, sponsor of the original bill.

The most-recent effort to allow sports betting began last spring in the General Assembly, producing a Senate-passed bill in June. The Senate then tacked gaming legislation to a House bill that granted veterans identifications to people discharged from the United States Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Wednesday’s sports gaming legislation came from a conference committee that eventually developed Substitute House Bill 29. It passed the Senate, 31-1, and the House, 72-12.

Sports betting is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Sports betting is already legal in four of Ohio’s neighboring states: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana and Michigan.

This article was originally posted on Legal sports betting in Ohio awaits DeWine’s signature

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